"Mind the Gap" is a concert series in symposium format. Six artists from Austria, Germany, Sweden, Colombia and Switzerland formulate a musical bagatelle, an artistic sound concept, an acoustic idea, and present their work in duplicate: both in the MUMUTH concert hall and on the Web. A major challenge is to conceive the work such that in the two very different spaces – in the black box and on the white board; with 33 loudspeakers and in stereo – it can unfold its aesthetic effect independent of the context. It is a radical formal requirement with consequences, a self-experiment with a need for reflection.
The six contributions are embedded correspondingly in a discourse for which we will provide the framework on 7 and 8 March 2013 at the venue in the MUMUTH. All of the sound works are performed twice in the concert hall, (i) as a matinée followed by a panel discussion with experts and (ii) as a soirée preceded by an introduction to the concert by a theoretician. In the morning the theory follows the art; in the evening vice versa. In the hours between these two events the foyer of the MUMUTH functions as a Viennese-style coffeehouse, offering space and time for intensive discussion of details and concrete questions, in small groups, or with one's neighbour at the table. The motive behind this format is the idea of an 'inverted conference': the participants spend most of the time in the foyer rather than in the lecture hall. And only at the times when otherwise a coffee break would interrupt the conference day can the participants engage in spontaneous short talks in te lecture hall of the Speakers' Corner on the ground floor.
The event "Mind the Gap" is connected with the general meeting of the Society for Artistic Research, which takes place on the third day in the same building. This society has dedicated itself to running a Journal for Artistic Research and an online platform, the Research Catalogue (RC), which focuses on international dissemination of art as research. A central issue of this still young society is the leap from an artistic environment such as the exhibition space, the concert hall, or the theatre, to the digital representational format of the RC. So far, this has often been practiced in the form of documentation. Now, with "Mind the Gap", the primary interest is to study the RC as a new and independent artistic performance space.
"Mind the Gap" is organised by the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz in cooperation with the research project "The Choreography of Sound" (funded by the FWF Austrian Science Fund: AR41) and the Society for Artistic Research. It is featured as a special event in the signalegraz concert series. Florian Dombois and Gerhard Eckel developed the idea and concept of the event.
On two consecutive days, three works by the following six artists will premier each day at the MUMUTH: Florian Dombois, Cathy van Eck, Gerhard Eckel, Hanna Hartman, Jan Svenungsson and Germán Toro-Pérez. Each work will be performed twice on one day and it is anticipated that with the two performances, perception and discourse will influence one another. Not only in the sense that we hear what we know, but also vice versa. Visitors are thus given the opportunity to listen twice: first unprepared during a concert in the morning, followed by a reflection in the form of a panel discussion; and then during a repetition of the morning's concert but now prepared through the day's talks and especially with an additional concrete introduction right before it begins.
Following the matinée there is a talk between the artists and three experts. The latter include Henk Borgdorff (Amsterdam / Göteborg) and Robert Höldrich (Graz); the third person will be announced as soon as possible. The panel discussion will take place in the foyer right after the performance of the respective three works. The participants will reflect on and discuss what was heard, thus enabling the panel to function as a prelude to the day's talk.
Half an hour before the soirée Michael Schwab (London) and Jens Badura (Salzburg/Zurich), respectively, give an introduction to the concert to follow. This introduction facilitates access for the evening audience, takes up the day's talk again, and focuses on the performance to follow.
Performance of Discourse
The coffeehouse is an institution and, especially in Vienna and Austria, has a rich history and present. It is an institution that traditionally serves as a place of artistic discourse as well as artistic production. How many world-renowned novels were written at its tables… For "Mind the Gap" this culture becomes reality for three days in the foyer of the MUMUTH. There are tables, chairs and newspapers, and food and drinks are provided by Toni Legenstein Catering. In addition, there are a number of internet stations on which people can view and listen to the six online contributions by the artists. With the temporary coffeehouse, the artistic discourse during "Mind the Gap" is given a concrete space and a real performance.
The withdrawal of the lecture from the symposium is not an exclusive gesture. During the two days, lectures (max. 15 minutes) can also be held with the usual infrastructure (data projector, sound system). A lecture hall on the ground floor of the building including technical support is available for this purpose. On the morning of the first day, two lists are put out on which speakers can reserve a time-slot for their presentation. These lists also serve as an announcement.
The Kaffeehaus offers chairs and tables and serves during the event drinks, pastries, small dishes and lunch. Newspapers are provided too. The Kaffeehaus is run by Toni Legenstein Catering.
Thursday & Friday / 7 & 8 March 2013 (Symposion)
09:00 Kaffeehaus opens
11:00-12:00 Panel Discussion
14:00-17:00 Hourly Lecture slots
20:00 Kaffeehaus closes
Saturday 9 March 2013 (SAR General Assembly)
09:30-17:00 General Assembly, Workshops and meeting of the new Executive Board of the Society for Artistic Research
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